Whipped Potatoes with Shiitake Gravy

5 Russet Potatoes (peeled, cubed)

3/4 cup of whole milk

3/4 cup of heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

 

Shiitake Gravy

1 stick of butter

1 package of shiitakes (stemmed and sliced)

4-5 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tablespoon of flour

1/2 cup of beef broth

1 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce

dash of balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

 

In a medium pot, add cubed potatoes and water, just enough to submerge potatoes- heat on high. Bring to rolling boil, lower heat to sustain the rolling boil and cook until fork tender. Drain potatoes.

Heat milk and cream together (in pot or microwave). Add to potatoes and using a potato masher, mash altogether. If too think, add more warm milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Using a handheld bender (or kitchen aid) whip the potatoes for 20 seconds until fluffy.

In another pot, heat butter (high to medium heat) until it browns and continue scraping the bottom brown bits with spatula for 5 mins. Add shiitakes and garlic, cook until mushrooms are soft (3-4 mins). Add flour, mix and cook for 2 mins. Next, add beef broth and soy sauce. Continue mixing cooking on medium/low heat until it thickens into gravy like consistency. Finish with dash of balsamic and salt and pepper to taste.

I like to create deep swirls/divots into the potatoes and pour the gravy into those pockets. Garnish with scallions and fried crispy garlic (if you’re feeling crazy, add crispy bacon bits/chinese sausage, chicharrones as well).

 

** Gravy goes well on ANYTHING. Forget making that campbell’s green bean casserole, just add this gravy on blanched beans).

Pho Banh Mi

Beef Pho Vietnamese Sandwich

pho banh mi

Hello hello everyone! Things have been quite busy and exciting lately and it has taken me away from this blog, so my apologies, a thousand times over. In the past couple months, I have been slaving away making and spreading the macaron love all over the United States. What once started as a macaron initiative to supply my friends and family became an ever-expanding dessert catering project. I have supplied countless desserts of all sorts to all different parties and occasions and my talents have taken me towards catering weddings now! I’m telling ya, life takes you on the craziest most unpredictable journey and all you can do is openly embrace it. I started this blog with an obsessive love for cooking all things savory with a minor interest in baking. Now, my life revolves around flour, butter and sugar and I’m usually found sitting on the floor while staring at the oven as things bake.

Back to the real purpose of this post, I recently created this fast and easy recipe that combines my two favorite Vietnamese dishes: pho (beef noodle soup) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich). So check out this pretty amazing recipe and make it for yourself!

Pho Banh Mi

Ingredients
1/2 tsp of spices: star anise, coriander, white pepper powder, cinnamon, cloves
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp onion, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
a handful of roughly chopped scallions (optional)
1 lb ribeye, thinly sliced (you can use sirloin or any other cuts of beef, I just love ribeye)
Vietnamese mayonnaise (recipe below)
Various pickled vegetables, in my case, daikon and carrots
french baguette

– Add all of marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. In a ziplock bag, seal together beef and marinade mixture while squeezing as much air out as possible. In a massaging motion, evenly distribute the marinate with the beef. Place in a refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour (30 mins minimum).

– On a very hot pan, lightly coat with oil (oil is not absolutely necessary bc oil is in marinade), cook the beef slices about 1-2 minutes total. Once the meat is placed in the pan, leave undisturbed in order to achieve a caramelized cook on the beef.

– Assemble the sandwich with a toasted baguette, slathered with Vietnamese mayonnaise (combine mayo with sriracha for spicy mayo) and hoisin sauce on the other side. Top with the beef, pickled vegetables, bean sprouts, cilantro and jalapenos.

Yessss. Your welcome 🙂

 

Vietnamese Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
1 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp salt

Couple ways you can make this: manually whisk, handheld mixer, processor…

While the egg yolks and salt are being mixed by whichever method you choose, slowly pour the oil in a thin, steady stream until it becomes incorporated and thick, creamy and pale yellow in color. (What makes this a “Vietnamese” mayo versus any other homemade mayo… not sure).

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Pineapple Mint Cocktail

pineapple mint gin cocktail   With the summer-like weather upon us, its time to hit the decks/patio/pool and lounge around with refreshing cocktails (yes, put the beer down and make something fun and exciting). I whipped up this cocktail recipe for a feature in Women’s Living Magazine last summer. It was a tremendous hit, everyone loved it and I hope you do too! Cheers everyone!

Ingredients

1 cup of diced pineapples 1 cup of pineapple juice 3 tablespoons of mint leaves 2 ounces of lime juice and wedges 4 ounces of gin 4 ounces of elderflower liqueur ginger ale In a pitcher, combine pineapples, pineapple juice, mint leaves, lime juice, wedges, gin, elderflower liqueur and ginger ale with ice and stir.  Pour into glasses that have been rimmed with a mixture of salt and ground chili pepper and serve.

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Chicken Liver Mousse

Chicken liver mousse Served with herb-anchovy butter and poached quail eggs.

I am absolutely obsessed with chicken liver, pates and mousses in particular. So much creamy richness, yet slightly funky in taste, I love it! Oh and don’t get me started on the pate in the Vietnamese banh mi.

Chicken livers are also nutrient dense- high in protein and a rich store of folate. Livers are also loaded with iron to give you energy and a treasure trove of certain B vitamins, most notably B12. This nutritional profile makes them a good choice for anyone prone to anaemia. Chicken livers are also one of the top sources of vitamin A, which helps eye health. (Food Standards Authority advises pregnant women not to eat liver because too much vitamin A can harm the baby.)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 cups chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped tart apple
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound chicken livers, cleaned
salt and pepper
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream

 

In a large pan over low heat, melt the butter and cook onion, apple, garlic and thyme, covered, until apples soften. Remove lid and increase heat to medium add the livers and cook until firm and still pink inside, 3-4 mins; season with salt and pepper. Add brandy and cook until reduced by half, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Puree in a food processor; then chill, covered. Meanwhile whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold into cooled, pureed liver mixture. Serve chilled with toasted baguette slices.

Optional: if you want the mousse to be very smooth, pass the puree through a sieve before chilling it and folding in the whipped heavy cream.

 

 

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Asian Pulled Pork Tacos on Indian Pancake

pulled pork tacos

Pulled pork- comfort food and so easy!

Pulled Pork- so many ways to make this wonderful, comforting dish. You can roast, crock pot and in my case use the pressure cooker. Crock pot is a such a great option for those who work all day and want a delicious meal ready for them by the time they get home. For me, I’ really bad at time management so I use the pressure cooker to get tender, moist results in half the time.

Pulled Pork

1 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves of garlic, roughly minced
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1.5 cups chicken broth
One 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed

Combine all the spices. Rub the spice mixture onto the pork on all sides. Marinate the pork for 3 hours or overnight.

Let the pork rest out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat the pressure cooker with canola oil on high, sear the pork, 2 minutes on each side. Remove, add a tad more oil and saute garlic and onions, scraping any brown bits on bottom of pot, for 2-3 mins. Return the pork, add chicken broth until it reaches half way of pork. Seal the lid and cook on low heat for 1-1.5 hours. Shred pork and toss in bbq sauce (recipe below). Serve on bread, tortilla or in this case indian pancake (recipe will follow soon) with slaw or pickled red onions or salsa verde.

Barbecue Sauce

1.5 cup of the pulled pork liquid
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon unagi sauce aka eel sauce (hoisin sauce optional)
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (depends on your spice tolerance)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan and let it simmer on medium/low heat for 10 minutes or until thick sauce-like consistency.

Crock pot: rub pork in spice mixture, place in crock pot with chicken broth, garlic and onions. Cook on high until the pork is fork-tender, 4 to 5 hours, or on low, 8 to 10 hours. Transfer the pork to a carving board. Let the pork stand, about 5 minutes.)

 

pulledpork2

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